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UAL Research Online

"Pardon me I’m very drunk": alcohol, creativity and performance anxiety in the case of Robert Wyatt

O'Dair, Marcus (2016) "Pardon me I’m very drunk": alcohol, creativity and performance anxiety in the case of Robert Wyatt. Popular Music, 35 (2). pp. 207-221. ISSN 1474-0095

Type of Research: Article
Creators: O'Dair, Marcus

Robert Wyatt's relationship with alcohol is multifaceted. He acknowledges its deleterious effect on aspects of his personal life, most notably on his relationship with wife and creative partner Alfreda Benge, and he has been teetotal since attending Alcoholics Anonymous in 2007–8. In professional terms, however, Wyatt continues to view alcohol positively: as a means to overcome anxiety as a performer and recording artist and as an aid to writing. From this perspective, the fact that Wyatt has not released a solo album since sobering up may be more than mere coincidence. This paper aims to answer two questions. First, what is the evidence that alcohol can reduce anxiety for a performer and recording artist, and increase creativity for a songwriter? Secondly, what is the evidence that this is so in Wyatt's specific case? In answering these questions, the author will draw on secondary research, as well as interviews conducted with Wyatt and various associated musicians and family members between 2008 and 2013.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Alcohol, Performance anxiety
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Cambridge University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 14 April 2016
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1017/S0261143016000039
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 14:48
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2019 14:48
Item ID: 14650
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/14650

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